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Most of us pursue fitness in order to look good. In this quest, we run an extra mile to lose five pounds or pick up a heavier weight to trim our arms. A balanced fitness program and sensible eating habits are powerful tools for weight loss. However, the same tools we use to look our best and lose weight are also powerful tools in maintaining the quality of our lives and our health.
What is physical fitness? Physical fitness includes five health-related components: muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiorespiratory fitness, flexibility and body composition. The FIRM workouts are designed with these components in mind. Once you’ve begun to see results on the scale, in your jeans and with your tape measure, what are the benefits you don’t see?
Are millions of us born with a genetic defect that makes us produce too much stomach acid? Do we just have a major evolutionary design flaw that requires us to take powerful acid-blocking drugs to prevent heartburn and reflux?
I believe that the answer to all of these questions is a resounding “no.”
At least 10 percent of Americans have episodes of heartburn every day, and 44 percent have symptoms at least once a month. Overall, reflux and heartburn (also known as GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease) affect a whopping 25 to 35 percent of the U.S. population! As a result, acid-blocking medications are the third-top-selling type of drug in America today. Two other drugs to treat reflux, Nexium and Prevacid, are among the world’s best-selling drugs and account for approximately $5.1 and $3.4 billion in sales annually.
To celebrate the release of her new book Yoga for Pain Relief, Kelly McGonigal, PhD, is getting the message out about how yoga can help you improve your health and happiness. Below, she shares some of the most exciting findings on the benefits of yoga from the growing field of mind-body research. I wanted to share these developments with you so perhaps you can use them to persuade the people in your life who are on the fence about yoga and meditation to give it a try.
A few weeks ago, I taught my Core Immersion Training at the Century City Equinox in Los Angeles, Calif. Each day, we valet parked our cars before entering the club. Those who live outside of Los Angeles may have to re-read the prior sentence: Yes, we VALET PARKED our cars to go to the gym, as do thousands of other Angelenos all around the city, where valet parking is an unfortunate fact of life in a city where the car is king, and vast distances separate us from getting here to there.
I remember getting the call from my mom a few years ago; at age 58, she had been diagnosed with osteopenia, the precursor to osteoporosis. “And your aunt has it too … you better watch out,” she warned. There are many factors that contribute to the weakening of our bones as we age: poor nutrition, genetics, smoking and lack of exercise, to name a few. But a new study tells us that a yoga practice can not only help prevent these crippling conditions — it actually builds the bones back up! Here’s how to use the 72-second rule plus photo and video how-to’s for two yoga moves to help you build bone density.